The Red Sox have promoted prospect Mookie Betts up to the big leagues, John Tomase of the Boston Herald reports. The 21-year-old will be available for Saturday night’s match-up against the Yankees in the Bronx.
Update: Via Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Red Sox sent Rubby De La Rosa down to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Betts on the 25-man roster.
Drafted out of high school by the Red Sox in the fifth round of the 2011 draft, this is just the fourth year of professional baseball for Betts. He started the season at Double-A Portland for the first time and quickly moved up to Triple-A Pawtucket, slashing a combined .345/.437/.520 with eight home runs, 48 RBI, and 29 stolen bases in 34 attempts.
Betts has traditionally been an infielder, but started playing the outfield more as the Red Sox have the third-lowest outfielder OPS in baseball. Additionally, the Sox had to shut down Shane Victorino for the time being after he experienced a setback during his rehab assignment due to back soreness.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.